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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – Gov. Jay Nixon today visited Old Glass Place in Springfield to congratulate Greene County leaders for being designated a Certified Work Ready Community. Gov. Nixon said Greene County’s successful efforts to strengthen its workforce training program are helping to attract and retain jobs to the community.
“By teaming educators with employers, Greene County is making sure that the local workforce has the skills needed in today’s global marketplace,” Gov. Nixon said. “Missouri’s economy continues to grow because our workforce continues to gain strength through training, education and hard work. Congratulations to everyone here in Greene County on earning this impressive distinction as a Certified Work Ready Community.” “The Certified Work Ready Community status is a milestone for the educators and employers of Greene County, a united community dedicated to developing our workforce and creating economic growth in our region,” said Mary Ann Rojas, Springfield Department of Workforce Development Director. “We are honored to be recognized by Gov. Nixon and the State of Missouri for our efforts to increase career readiness.”
“This recognition validates what we already know about Springfield and Greene County—our region has an incredible workforce that meets the needs of growing companies” said Matt Morrow, president of the Springfield Area Chamber of Commerce. “We are proud of the work our partners have done to secure this important designation.”
In 2012, Missouri was selected as one of the first four states to participate in the Certified Work Ready Communities initiative by American College Testing (ACT). The initiative aligns workforce training programs with the economic development needs of communities; matches appropriate applicants to jobs based on skill level; and strengthens businesses by strengthening the workforce.
Jasper County, Missouri was named the first Certified Work Ready Community in the nation, and Missouri has 81 counties that are actively participating in the Certified Work Ready Community initiative and 36 fully certified counties.
By participating in the Certified Work Ready Communities initiative, Greene County is:
• Helping workers understand what skills are required by employers, and how to prepare themselves for success;• Helping businesses effectively communicate their workforce needs to area education and workforce training programs;• Providing educators with the tools needed to close the skills gap by establishing career pathways for students with stackable industry-recognized credentials; and• Equipping economic development organizations with an on-demand reporting tool to promote the quality of their workforce.
Through this initiative, ACT has also awarded more than 79,000 National Career Readiness Certificates (NCRC) to workers in Missouri, including more than 6,577 certificates to Missouri veterans. NCRCs are accepted by more than 14,000 employers nationwide to verify individuals’ work skills.
Various agencies along with dozens of businesses throughout the county joined together to make this designation possible for Greene County, including the Springfield Chamber of Commerce, Springfield Public Schools, the Greene County Commission, the City of Springfield, Ozark Technical College, and more than 300 local employers.
For more information, please contact Communication Coordinator Megan Short at 417-841-3386 or [email protected]